ARCADIA, Calif. (Sept. 18, 2015)–Under the watchful eye of trainer Richard Mandella, two-time Eclipse Champion mare Beholder worked a bullet six furlongs in 1:12.80 under Gary Stevens this morning at Santa Anita–her final work in preparation for the Grade I, $300,000 Zenyatta Stakes on Sept. 26.
Owned by B. Wayne Hughes’ Spendthrift Farm, Beholder came on the track at 6:30 a.m. and galloped under the wire, around the Club House turn and was set down by Stevens at the five furlong pole, four lengths behind a stablemate. In-hand throughout, Beholder took command at the sixteenth pole and galloped out seven furlongs as planned.
A 5-year-old mare by Henny Hughes, Beholder seeks a record third consecutive win in the Zenyatta, a Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win & You’re In” prep. Should all go well in the 1 1/16 miles Zenyatta, it is expected Beholder, a smashing 8 ¼ length winner versus males in the Grade I Pacific Classic Aug. 22, will take on Triple Crown winner American Pharoah and others in the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland Oct. 31.
“She’s super fit coming off the Pacific Classic,” Stevens told Xpressbet’s Millie Ball this morning. “But she needs to run.”
Mandella was simply in awe. When asked for his “take” on the six furlong move, he responded, “I haven’t overcome the goosebumps in my eyes, because when I watch her work, it gives me that.”
Beholder Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LeBH443oY0s
With trainer Bob Baffert away in Kentucky, Triple Crown Champion American Pharoah took the track at 6:30 a.m. under exercise rider Manny Avila and backtracked to the half mile pole. As is his wont, “Pharoah” took a moment to take in his surrounds and on Avila’s cue, turned and galloped a strong 1 ½ miles.
Owned and bred by Ahmad Zayat, American Pharoah, who followed up his Triple Crown run with an authoritative 2 ¼ length win in the Grade I Haskell Invitational Aug. 2, has not worked since running a close second in the Grade I Travers Stakes Aug. 29.
American Pharoah Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-sCYrF23tcM